Wednesday, June 09, 2010

T-shirt travel: 2002 World Cup fever in Seoul, South Korea

Germany wasn't the first place where my T-shirt travels started to reflect FIFA World Cup fever, oh no, that began four years earlier when I lived in Japan during the 2002 World Cup. Back then I was utterly ignorant about the event and booked a holiday to Seoul during the week of the finals (if you're as ignorant as I was - the 2002 cup was jointly hosted between Japan and South Korea).

Lucky coincidence - even though Seoul was busy, I still found accommodation on arrival, and didn't find any major queues anywhere - and it turned out to be a time when Seoul was filled with a fantastic atmosphere. A stall just outside the tiny budget hotel I was staying in sold these T-shirts and matching bandannas, and it didn't take long before I was persuaded to buy one. And I wore it proudly while I sat in the middle of Seoul with a million others watching South Korea bravely take on the Germans in the semi-final - a much higher position than anyone had expected the co-hosts to reach. Truly a memorable day in Korea, thanks to the friendly locals and the binding nature of sports. And now the 2010 version is just around the corner - go Australia!

Bizarre side note: I saw this same T-shirt recently being worn by one of the kids in the movie My Teacher, Mr Kim. It's a Korean movie about a teacher being sent to a remote school and although a little odd, probably gives you some idea of how Korean life works. Worth watching!


  1. Hi! Thanks for your blog! I'm researching 'culture shock'--that's how i found it. I'm moving from Perth (my home) to South Korea in 8 weeks. I'm terrified and excited!

  2. Oh, enjoy it!!! I'm sure you'll love your time in Korea. Are you going to be teaching English there or something else? It's a great place with really friendly and welcoming people. Don't worry about the culture shock, it'll just be lots of fun!!


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